Timing a turtle
This fossilised shell (carapace) of a turtle came to the museum with very little information about it. So we need to use detective work to answer questions about its age and where it came from.
The fossil is lying in Purbeck Limestone, so we know that it’s Lower Cretaceous in age. This helps us to place the carapace in context with others so we can start to understand the evolution of turtles. But the Purbeck Limestone group covers some five million years of geological time, so without knowing exactly which layer of rock it came from, we can’t work out much more. This shows how important it is to record all the details of where a fossil is found.
Find out more on the reptiles pages.